The Easel

5th November 2019

Bauhaus: A Failed Utopia? Part 3: Last Rites

By the late 1950’s, Bauhaus’ alumni had had a widespread influence, especially in architecture. Among them, Marcel Breuer was a luminary and he took Bauhaus ideas in a strange direction … concrete.

“The Bauhaus idea … to maintain a balance between craft and industry did not work … One branch of Bauhaus lands us at IKEA. [Elsewhere] the Breuer wing of Bauhaus got weird and dark. Breuer and other Brutalists made buildings that have the capacity to shake your soul. [In Breuer’s hands] concrete is … like a monument to a new and strange God. At the root of many of the buildings Breuer built in the 60s and 70s seems to be the following thought, “don’t fight alienation by resisting it, fight it by going through to the other side.”